Originally Posted Online: Dec. 05, 2012, 6:48 pm
Last Updated: Dec. 05, 2012, 11:32 pm
Judge dismisses woman's motion for new sentencing for husband's murder
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By Stephen Elliott, firstname.lastname@example.org
A 14th Judicial Circuit judge has dismissed a post-trial motion seeking a new sentencing hearing for a former Viola woman serving a life sentence for the 1986 murder of her husband.
Janet Jackson wanted to be released from the life sentence she received for the murder of her husband, Kim Wayne Jackson, in an empty Mercer County farmhouse.
Judge James Conway said he found Ms. Jackson's latest effort "frivolous and patently without merit" in a decision filed Tuesday in the Mercer County Circuit Clerk's office.
In 2002, Ms. Jackson's sentence was reduced to 40 years by the Third District Appellate Court. However, that decision was overturned after an appeal by Mercer County State's Attorney Greg McHugh, and the life sentence resumed in 2003.
In her trial, prosecutors said Ms. Jackson and two men, Tony Royark and Michael Miller, planned to kill Mr. Jackson for a $150,000 life insurance policy.
First, there were failed efforts that included a natural gas explosion in a trailer, running Mr. Jackson down with a car and attempted poisoning, authorities said during the trial.
Eventually, Ms. Jackson convinced her husband to meet her at a vacant farmhouse to talk about reconciling. Mr. Royark and Mr. Miller were waiting at the house, and Mr. Jackson was beaten to death.
Mr. Miller, who was then 16, was sentenced to 17 years in prison and released in the 1990s.
Mr. Royark, 58, is serving a life sentence in connection with the crime.